Toothbrushes

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PRODUCT REVIEWS

boka toothbrush review

Published on October 4, 2018

boka is one of the newest electric toothbrushes on the market. it’s sold direct-to-consumer, which saves time and money, and it features sonic vibration technology similar to sonicare. if you’re worried about plaque buildup, boka may be the ideal toothbrush for you.

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BY DR. BURHENNE

DISCLOSURE:

Ask the Dentist is supported by readers. If you use one of the links below and buy something, Ask the Dentist makes a little bit of money at no additional cost to you. I rigorously research, test, and use thousands of products every year, but recommend only a small fraction of these. I only promote products that I truly feel will be valuable to you in improving your oral health.

A good toothbrush is a important part of any effective dental hygiene routine. And while I am a firm believer that electric toothbrushes are the best options for fighting stains and plaque buildup, some people have avoided them due to cost.

Now, thanks to new electric toothbrush brands like Boka, you can purchase directly from the manufacturer, getting the same value at a much lower price.

In fact, Boka offers an entire oral care subscription that includes regular delivery of replacement heads, all-natural floss, and a first-of-its-kind, fluoride-free toothpaste (more on that below). After all, keeping your teeth clean and your mouth healthy is much easier when everything you need is shipped straight to your door.

I’ve used the Boka toothbrush personally and have written this review to share my thoughts.

SPOILER: If you’re concerned about plaque buildup and typically forget to replace your brush or brush head, Boka may be the toothbrush for you!

should you buy an electric toothbrush?

Before I get to the details about Boka, I want to answer this common reader question. Truthfully, I recommend that most people use an electric toothbrush for the following reasons:

you’re probably not brushing your teeth the right way

Even if you follow all of the standard recommendations to brush twice a day and change your toothbrush every three months, the reality is that you probably still don’t know how to brush your teeth the right way.

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Proper brushing technique involves time, pressure, and motion. Specifically, you should:

Brush your teeth for at least two minutes: Brushing in the morning and at night is important, but you should also brush 30-45 minutes after eating a meal that contains anything acidic, sugary, or processed. This window is important because acidic and processed foods can make enamel more vulnerable to erosion if you brush immediately after eating.

Brush your teeth gently: There’s a misconception that brushing harder is more effective in removing food debris and harmful bacteria, but that’s not the case. And if you brush your teeth with the same intensity you use to scrub soap scum from your shower, you could be creating microscopic abrasions that allow more bacteria into the teeth. Irreversible gum recession can also occur.

Brush with a circular, sweeping motion: Don’t saw back and forth in straight lines, as this can create those abrasions on teeth even if you apply gentle pressure.

The point of brushing is not to coat the teeth with toothpaste. It is simply to disorganize the biofilm on the teeth. By disorganizing this bacteria, you stop it from building up and causing tooth decay. Brushing also supports a healthy oral microbiome, which further contributes to a cavity- and gum disease-free mouth.

We’ve been lead to believe that toothpaste keeps our teeth clean, but the real work of disorganizing the dental biofilm is achieved with the brushing motion. (Though some toothpastes can be helpful, especially if you’re working to reverse any existing cavities).

I recommend electric toothbrushes because they are designed to make an ideal brushing motion without any additional work from the user. They are also more efficient in removing stains and plaque buildup on the teeth.

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Now that you know why I like electric toothbrushes, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the Boka toothbrush.

boka toothbrush pros

boka allows you to “buy direct”

Large companies like Proctor & Gamble and Phillips serve as “middlemen” for the toothbrush industry. They manufacture their products and then sell them to retailers like Walmart and Target at a wholesale rate. These stores then sell the products to consumers at a much higher retail price and keep the difference as profit.

On the other hand, Boka (along with other newer toothbrush brands, like Goby) have developed a direct-buy service. This means you avoid retail markups and save money by buying directly from the manufacturer. Plus, you never have to leave the comfort of your home!

boka uses sonic, high frequency vibrations that remove tons of plaque

As a high-quality alternative to a SoniCare toothbrush, Boka’s sonic technology is ideal for plaque removal. The Boka toothbrush is particularly beneficial for people over age 40 who need to closely monitor plaque buildup in order to prevent tooth decay.

boka uses charcoal bristles to deodorize and fight bacteria

Activated charcoal is a known detoxifier that is popping up everywhere in wellness-related products, including toothpaste. Boka has jumped onto this trend by adding charcoal bristles to their electric toothbrushes.

According to the website, the activated charcoal in the bristles prevents bacteria from growing on your toothbrush head (which can help you avoid any yucky smells as a result of lingering bacteria).

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the boka toothbrush has multiple speed settings

90 percent of the time, a “low” setting on your electric toothbrush works just fine. But if you’re a mouth breather, need to remineralize cavities, or are worried about your teeth staining, you can benefit from a faster speed. Boka offers low, medium, and high settings.

As an added bonus, the Boka electric toothbrush also has a two-minute timer to help you track how long you’re brushing.

you can get a subscription for a boka oral care plan

Electric toothbrush heads should be replaced every 2-3 months, at least. I actually recommend replacing them every month. By subscribing to Boka’s oral care plan, you don’t have to remember when it’s time to replace your brush head—whether you choose to replace your head ever quarter or more frequently.

boka’s toothpaste is the best for reversing cavities

In addition to getting new toothbrush head, Subscribing to Boka’s oral care plan also means that you’ll receive what I consider to be the best toothpaste for healing and preventing cavities.

Instead of fluoride, Boka’s Ela Mint Toothpaste uses nano-hydroxyapatite particles—similar to the substance that teeth are made of—to support the natural process of repair and rebuilding. We have known for some time that fluoride is a toxin, and nano-hydroxyapatite particles are a safe and effective alternative.

boka toothbrush cons

boka is more expensive than other options

Because you get more each quarter than with, say, Goby, it makes sense that you pay extra for a Boka subscription. If you’re being frugal, this option may not be best (especially if you don’t need a remineralizing toothpaste).

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boka is not ideal for removing stains

For people under age 40, removing and preventing stains is more of a concern than plaque removal. And a brush that uses oscillatory motion, like the Goby toothbrush, is better at stain removal than Boka.

final thoughts on the boka toothbrush

The Boka toothbrush is one of my favorite brands on the market. By utilizing a direct-buy method, Boka gives you a reasonably priced product that’s still high quality.

Getting a Boka toothbrush means:

1You’ll get rid of plaque buildup, which is vital if you’re over 40.

2The bristles of your toothbrush will fight bacteria.

3You can choose the speed of your brush, depending on what your unique needs.

4You never have to remember when it’s time to replace your toothbrush head.

The cons to Boka are cost and limited stain removal, but these are minor compared to the benefits. I’m confident you’ll be happy with this brush!

goby toothbrush review

Published on October 4, 2018

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BY DR. BURHENNE

DISCLOSURE:

Ask the Dentist is supported by readers. If you use one of the links below and buy something, Ask the Dentist makes a little bit of money at no additional cost to you. I rigorously research, test, and use thousands of products every year, but recommend only a small fraction of these. I only promote products that I truly feel will be valuable to you in improving your oral health.

Long gone are the days when buying a toothbrush meant visiting your local drugstore and picking a manual brush from the shelves. Even the electric toothbrush marketing has changed, with companies like Goby, Boka, and others providing a direct-to-consumer model that makes buying the best toothbrush for you more convenient (and affordable) than ever.

So how do you know which toothbrush to choose?

After extensive personal use, I believe that the Goby toothbrush is the best new brand on the market. This review explains why.

benefits of electric toothbrushes

Before you decide whether to buy a Goby toothbrush, you may still be wondering if you need an electric toothbrush at all.

Well, the answer is yes, and there are two primary reasons:

1. electric toothbrushes make up for poor brushing technique

No matter your age, it’s highly likely that you have poor brushing technique—even if you brush twice per day and change your toothbrush regularly.

Modern dentistry too often focuses on selling products and services. As a result the development of proper brushing technique is often neglected. In fact, the motion of brushing is more important than toothpaste when it comes to disorganizing bacteria on the teeth and preventing decay.

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If you’re like most people, you’re probably brushing with a back-and-forth “sawing” motion, while also pressing too hard. This isn’t your fault, as few of us have been shown to brush with the ideal, circular motion. Likewise, we haven’t been told that brushing harder isn’t better—and that it can actually damage the enamel and cause gum recession.

An electric toothbrush makes brushing with proper technique automatic, since it does most of the work for you.

2. electric toothbrushes are better at eliminating bad bacteria

Your oral microbiome is vital to the health of your teeth, mouth, and entire body. When good and bad bacteria aren’t balanced (i.e. there are more bad guys than good guys), the harmful bacteria can cause bad breath, tooth decay, and even gum disease.

Fortunately, because of the electric-powered bristles, using an electric toothbrush can reach and clean areas of your teeth that you may be missing with a manual brush.

goby toothbrush pros

goby allows you to buy direct

There are many “pros” of owning a Goby toothbrush, including its direct-to-consumer purchasing model that saves you both time and money.

Phillips (which owns SoniCare) and Proctor & Gamble (which owns Braun/Oral-B) are manufacturers that make toothbrushes and then sell them to retailers like Target, Costco, and Amazon at wholesale prices. The price you pay is much higher, however, to allow the retailers to make a profit on your purchase.

When you are able to cut out the retailer “middlemen” and purchase directly from Goby or other manufacturers, your costs are much lower than what you’d pay in a store. Even better, the product is shipped directly to your door.

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goby’s oscillatory motion is great at stain removal

Nearly identical similar to Oral-B models, Goby’s electric toothbrush uses an oscillatory motion. This sets it apart from brands like Sonicare or Boka, which uses sonic technology to create an ultrafast vibration of the brush head.

While sonic toothbrushes are more suited for plaque removal, an oscillatory motion is much better at eliminating stains and making teeth appear whiter, naturally.

goby offers a subscription so you don’t have to remember to order replacement heads

When toothbrush heads become worn, they can damage teeth, making small abrasions that allow bacteria to enter and proliferate. Worn bristles can also cause or exacerbate gum recession.

Even with the best intentions, life sometimes gets in the way and prevents us from replacing our toothbrushes or toothbrush heads as often as necessary.

But with Goby’s subscription service, you never have to remember when to switch—or travel to a store to do so. When a new Goby’s toothbrush head shows up in your mailbox, just throw out the old one!

Goby’s subscription model allows you to choose whether you want to receive a replacement head every one, two, or three month cycles. With electric toothbrushes, I recommend you replace the head at least every 2-3 months (while manual toothbrushes should be replaced monthly).

goby’s brush is virtually identical to oral-b models, but without the price tag

The subscription for a Goby toothbrush costs just $60 for your initial purchase, which includes the toothbrush, a toothbrush head, a stand, the adapter/charger, and a brush head cover.

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This is a huge savings over similar Oral-B models, which range in price from $70 to over $200.

Additionally, Goby’s brush heads ship to you for $6 each, with free shipping, and at whatever time interval you choose. Comparable Oral-B heads range from $8-16 each.

goby cares about education and customer satisfaction

One of the things I love most about Goby is that they don’t forget about you after you make a purchase and has a strong focus on education.

Because larger manufacturers under corporate umbrellas sell to stores instead of people, they often don’t spend the resources on customer satisfaction. This differs completely from Goby and other companies that sell directly to consumers.

Goby sends regular emails and also mails educational materials with each subscription box—all with the intent to help you better care for your mouth and your toothbrush.

goby toothbrush cons

In my opinion, there aren’t many cons of Goby toothbrushes.

The direct buy method isn’t attractive to everyone, neither is the style of the toothbrush. Goby doesn’t have quite the sleek look of some competitors, but I think it’s quality and benefits more than make up for that. (And you can still choose from several color options.)

final thoughts on the goby toothbrush

The Goby toothbrush and subscription service are the creation of a husband and wife team. Their goal goes beyond supplying product and includes making great oral care accessible to all. Goby donates a portion of all sales to the NYU College of Dentistry’s Global Student Outreach Program to help provide dental services to people in need around the world.

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I appreciate the mission of Goby, as well as the excellent toothbrush they’ve created.

•Its oscillatory motion removes stains better than sonic motion toothbrushes.

•The subscription model allows you to receive replacement heads at the interval of your choice, without you having to remember to order.

•It’s priced lower than Oral-B but offers the same quality.

•Their company provides follow-up education and adds a personal touch.

For anyone under 40, or who’s focus on stain removal, the Goby electric toothbrush is my top recommendation.

read

Here’s something you probably already know: Brushing teeth is critical for good dental health. However, all brushing doesn’t achieve the desired outcomes. There’s actually a correct way to brush your teeth, and choosing the right toothbrush can help.

Electric toothbrushes can make brushing easier and do a better job than manual brushing, but choosing from the dozens of models available and picking the right brush for your teeth can be confusing. Sonicare has been a popular electric toothbrush brand for some time, yet because of the cost, many people wonder if they’re actually worth the expense.

After personally reviewing Sonicare toothbrushes, I can definitely recommend any of their models—especially for people over the age of 40 with gum recession and spaces between their teeth.

Following is my in-depth review of Sonicare toothbrushes:

what makes sonicare different from other electric toothbrushes—and what does it mean for your health?

Sonicare was the first brand to develop a toothbrush using sonic wave technology, which vibrates as high as 30K cycles per minute. Other electric toothbrush brands like Oral-B oscillate instead of vibrating, which means that the bristles move in a circle. I’ve described Sonicare as a “jiggling motion” and Oral-B as a “sweeping motion,” and they each have advantages and specific uses.

Overall, Sonicare is great at removing the biofilm (the thin layer of plaque and tartar that all of us have on our teeth) that can ultimately lead to cavity formation. Processed foods, common in Western diets, can thicken the biofilm layer, so it’s crucial to use a toothbrush or brushing technique that can address this issue. You never remove the biofilm layer completely, but if you can brush effectively, you can break it apart.

comparing each of the different sonicare models

Now that you understand that a Sonicare is a superior toothbrush option that can contribute to great dental health, here’s a look at each of the different Sonicare models, so you can choose the one that’s right for you:

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Sonicare Essence:

The Sonicare Essence is the original Sonicare model. It is less expensive than the other models, and the vibrating tuning fork comes as part of the replaceable head (which does slightly increase the price-per-head). It’s also a bigger and bulkier toothbrush, which I view as an advantage. Many patients, particularly older patients or those without a lot of dexterity in their grip, find that a larger handle leads to a better brushing experience.

Sonicare Series 2  and Sonicare Series 3:

With the Series 2 and Series 3 models, Sonicare provides an update to the original design, but both are very similar. The tuning fork is inside the handle, so it’s easier to clean, and the Series 3 has some additional features, including different intensity settings and a longer battery life.

Sonicare HealthyWhite uses the Sonicare Series 2 technology with a bluetooth connection, which is helpful for people who want to use their smartphone to track their brushing habits.

Sonicare Diamond Clean is the “professional” model that Sonicare offers (i.e., the one they send to dentists to try out). It’s similar to the Sonicare Series 2, but has a fancier package, a built-in USB charger, and a higher quality head—the “diamond head.”

Keep in mind, though, that the diamond head can be purchased separately, so it’s more cost effective to buy the one of the less expensive Sonicare models and simply upgrade the head if you want the “diamond” experience.

pros and cons of sonicare toothbrushes

Choosing the right Sonicare toothbrush is important, but it’s also important to keep in mind that no toothbrush is perfect—even the Sonicare. The good news is that the pros of Sonicares generally outweigh the cons.

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Let’s take a look:

sonicare pros

•Better for cleaning hard-to-reach spots. Sonic technology is the only electric toothbrush method that provides action beyond the bristles—the sonic waves ensure that even hard-to-reach plaque cells (that the bristles can’t reach) are broken up.

•Better for gums. For people with sensitive gums or gum recession, or for those who are hard brushers, the Sonicare is safer on your gums and teeth than Oral B and other electric/manual toothbrushes. (But, with a worn toothbrush head, the edge of the bristles can still do enamel damage if pushed too hard. I recommend replacing the head every month or so.)

•Better to clean between spaces. Sonicare is better for people with gum recession and deeper spaces between their teeth. As people age, the gums can pull away from the teeth, creating tiny spaces where food can hide. In fact, many elderly patients grapple with food impaction issues. Flossing after every meal is one option, but the Sonicare is great for blasting the food out and is why I consistently recommended the Sonicare for people over age 40.

cons of sonicare toothbrushes

•It can be uncomfortable. Not everyone likes the sensation of the sonic waves, and it can take some time to adjust to it.

•Battery may not last as long as other electric toothbrushes. I’ve found that the Sonicare rechargeable battery lasts for about 8-9 months, but there is a lot of variability here: I’ve had patients say the battery lasted three months, while others say theirs lasted two years. The toothbrush comes with a six month warranty that covers the battery, but at its current price point, replacing the toothbrush even twice a year can become expensive.

•More knockoffs. I’ve seen more knockoffs of Sonicare than Oral-B, so watch out for purchasing knockoff brand brushes and heads that may be poorly made and can damage your teeth and gums.

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who should buy a sonicare toothbrush?

Though many dentists will tell you that everyone should use a Sonicare toothbrush, I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. I think that it can be an unnecessary expense for some people. However, for the following groups of people, a Sonicare toothbrush can vastly improve overall dental health and prevent tooth decay:

•People over 40, or anyone that has gum recession, where the gums begin to pull away from the teeth.

•People who are willing to use a hybrid system: I often recommend that people use two different brushes—an Oral B in the morning, to attack stains, and a Sonicare at night, to blast out the food stuck between teeth before bed.

final thoughts: maximizing the benefits of a sonicare toothbrush

If you do decide to buy a Sonicare toothbrush, that’s great news! You’re well on your way to achieving optimum dental and oral health!

Along the way, the following suggestions will help to ensure maximum brushing benefit:

•Consider pairing the Sonicare with the Oral B (see above), especially if you’re a heavy coffee or black tea drinker, or if you’re concerned about staining from other foods and beverages.

•Beware the sawing motion. Despite what is shown on TV, electric toothbrushes should not be brushed like manual ones. Do NOT use a sawing, or aggressive back-and-forth, motion. Remember, the bristles are constantly in action, so all you need to do is roll the handle gently from tooth to tooth and let the bristles do the work.

•Get the softest head you can find. It won’t come with the toothbrush, but Sonicare does make softer heads that are designed for sensitive teeth. Soft heads will do the best job of brushing teeth and are less likely to scratch the enamel, especially if they are replaced often.